H.B. NO.














relating to gerontologIST licensing.





     SECTION 1.  The purpose of this Act is to establish licensing requirements for gerontologists to:

     (1)  Safeguard the public health, safety, and welfare;

     (2)  Protect aging and older adults from incompetent and unscrupulous persons, and persons unauthorized to care for older adults;

     (3)  Assure the highest degree of professional conduct on the part of gerontologists; and

     (4)  Assure the availability of high quality care for older and aging adults.

     SECTION 2.  The Hawaii Revised Statutes is amended by adding a new chapter to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:



     §   -1  Definitions.  As used in this chapter:

     "Applicant" means an applicant for a license under this chapter.

     "Board" means the board of gerontology.

     "Department" means the department of commerce and consumer affairs.

     "Director" means the director of commerce and consumer affairs.

     "Gerontologist" or "licensed gerontologist" means a person who is licensed in the practice of gerontology pursuant to this chapter.

     "Practice of gerontology" means the study of aging and older adults.

     §   -2  Licensure required.  Except as otherwise provided by law, a person who practices, offers to practice, or advertises the practice of gerontology in the State either gratuitously or for pay shall be required to have a valid license issued by the board.

     §   -3  Exemptions.  Licensure shall not be required of:

     (1)  Any licensed person doing work within the scope of practice or duties of the person's profession that overlaps with the practice of gerontology; provided that the person does not purport to be a gerontologist;

     (2)  Any person employed by a federal, state, or county government agency in a gerontologist position, but only at those times when that person is carrying out the duties and responsibilities as a gerontologist in governmental employment;

     (3)  Any student enrolled in an accredited educational institution in a recognized program of study leading toward attainment of a degree in gerontology; provided that the student's activities and services are part of a prescribed course of study supervised by the educational institution, and the student is identified by an appropriate title such as "gerontology student", "gerontology intern", or any other title that clearly indicates the student's training status;

     (4)  Any person who is a member of a mental health profession not requiring licensure; provided that the person functions only within the person's professional capacities; provided further that the person does not purport to be a gerontologist;

     (5)  Any person teaching, lecturing, consulting, or engaging in research in gerontology insofar as the activities are performed as part of or are dependent upon enrollment in a college or university; provided that the person shall not engage in the practice of gerontology outside the responsibilities of the person's employment; and

     (6)  Any person who is a duly recognized member of the clergy; provided that the person functions only within the person's capacities as a member of the clergy; provided further that the person does not purport to be a gerontologist.

     §   -4  Examination by the board.  In order to be licensed in the practice of gerontology under this chapter, an applicant shall pass an examination and have the necessary qualifications as prescribed by this chapter and by rules adopted by the board.

     §   -5  Board of gerontology.  There shall be a board of gerontology, which shall consist of five members appointed by the governor pursuant to section 26-34 from a list of nominees selected jointly by the President of the Senate and Speaker of the House of Representatives.  Of the nominees, three shall be educators in the field of gerontology, and two shall be licensed gerontologists; provided that for the initial appointment, gerontology practitioners may be nominated to the board in lieu of gerontologists licensed pursuant to this chapter.  For the initial appointment of members, one shall be appointed for a term of two years, two shall be appointed for a term of three years, and two shall be appointed for a term of four years.

     §   -6  Powers and duties of the board.  In addition to any powers and duties authorized by law, the board shall:

     (1)  Develop standards for licensure;

     (2)  Define the scope of practice;

     (3)  Adopt, amend, or repeal rules in accordance with chapter 91 to carry out the purposes of this chapter, including a code of ethics;

     (4)  Establish exam qualification requirements, adapted appropriately from already established procedures, requirements, and protocol, such as those of the National Association for Professional Gerontologists;

     (5)  Prepare, administer, and grade examinations; provided that the board may contract with a testing agency to provide those services;

     (6)  Examine and approve the qualifications of all applicants under this chapter and issue or renew a license to each successful applicant granting permission to use the title of "licensed gerontologist" or "gerontologist" in this State pursuant to this chapter and the rules adopted pursuant to this chapter;

     (7)  Maintain a publicly accessible registry of licensees licensed pursuant to this chapter;

     (8)  Suspend and revoke licenses;

     (9)  Discipline a licensed gerontologist for any cause described by this chapter or for any violation of the rules, and refuse to license a person for failure to meet licensure requirements for any cause that would be grounds for disciplining a licensed gerontologist;

    (10)  Investigate and conduct hearings regarding any violation of this chapter and any rules of the board;

    (11)  Establish fees and fines necessary to administer this chapter;

    (12)  Establish paths for the practitioner to be covered by malpractice insurance;

    (13)  Promote current dialogue and research;

    (14)  Maintain a record of its proceedings; and

    (15)  Do all things necessary to carry out the functions, powers, and duties set forth in this chapter.

     §   -7  Renewal of license.  (a)  Every license issued under this chapter shall be renewed triennially on or before June 30, with the first renewal deadline occurring on June 30, 2021.  Failure to renew a license shall result in a forfeiture of the license.  Licenses that have been so forfeited may be restored within one year of the expiration date upon payment of renewal and penalty fees.  Failure to restore a forfeited license within one year of the date of its expiration shall result in the automatic termination of the license, and relicensure may require the person to apply as a new applicant and satisfy all licensure requirements again.

     (b)  Upon request, the director may grant inactive status to a person licensed under this chapter.

     §   -8  Fees; disposition.  (a)  Application, examination, reexamination, license, renewal, late renewal penalty fees, inactive, and other reasonable and necessary fees relating to the administration of this chapter, none of which are refundable, shall be as provided in rules adopted by the director pursuant to chapter 91.

     (b)  Fees assessed shall defray all costs to be incurred by the director to support the operation of the gerontologist licensure program.

     §   -9  Revocation, suspension, denial, or condition of licenses; fines.  In addition to any other acts or conditions provided by law, the director may refuse to renew, reinstate, or restore, or may deny, revoke, suspend, fine, or condition in any manner any license for any one or more of the following acts or conditions on the part of the applicant or licensed gerontologist:

     (1)  Conviction by a court of competent jurisdiction of a crime that the director has determined to be of a nature that renders the person convicted unfit for the practice of gerontology;

     (2)  Failure to report in writing to the director any disciplinary decision related to the practice of gerontology issued against the licensed gerontologist or the applicant in any jurisdiction within thirty days of the disciplinary decision or within twenty days of licensure;

     (3)  Violation of recognized ethical standards for gerontologists;

     (4)  Use of fraud, deception, or misrepresentation in obtaining a license;

     (5)  Revocation, suspension, or other disciplinary action by another state, territory, federal agency, or country against the licensed gerontologist or applicant for any reason provided under this section; or

     (6)  Other just and sufficient cause that renders a person unfit for the practice of gerontology.

     §   -10  Prohibited acts; penalties.  (a)  No person shall:

     (1)  Use in connection with the person's name any designation tending to imply that the person is a licensed gerontologist unless the person is duly licensed and authorized under this chapter; or

     (2)  Represent oneself as a licensed gerontologist during the time the person's license issued under this chapter is forfeited, inactive, terminated, suspended, or revoked.

     (b)  Any person who violates this section shall be subject to a fine of not more than $1,000, and each day's violation shall be deemed a separate offense."

     SECTION 3.  This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2018.


























Report Title:

Kupuna Caucus; Gerontologists; Licensure



Establishes requirements for gerontologist licensure beginning on 7/1/2018.




The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.